Palestinian Plight: Updates & Discussions

BLACKEAGLE

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Palestinian shot dead in clashes with Israeli forces

Israeli border policemen scuffle with a Palestinian protester as they detain him before a protest near Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City October 8, 2015. (Reuters)

By Staff writer, Al Arabiya News
Thursday, 8 October 2015

Israeli security forces shot dead a Palestinian during clashes in east Jerusalem Thursday on their way to the home of a man accused of an earlier stabbing attack, medics said.

The Palestinian was shot in the chest and fatally wounded at the Shuafat refugee camp in annexed east Jerusalem, according to the Red Crescent and hospital sources.

The incident followed days of unrest, including rioting in east Jerusalem and the West Bank as well as a spate of stabbing attacks targeting Israelis.

Over the last week, four Israelis and seven Palestinians have been killed in the violence.

Four of the Palestinians were killed after they allegedly attacked Israelis. Three others were killed during clashes with Israeli security forces, including a 13-year-old near Bethlehem.

The unrest and violence have sparked fears of a broader Palestinian uprising and warnings of a third intifada.

The suspect from Shuafat, Subhi Abu Khalifah, 19, was accused of stabbing a 25-year-old Jewish man in Jerusalem, leaving him in serious condition.

Unorganized ‘wave of terror’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday Israel was facing a “wave of terror” that was mostly unorganized, pledging action against those inciting violence, but warning there was no “magic solution.”

“We are in the midst of a wave of terror of knives, firebombs, stones and live fire,” Netanyahu told reporters after days riots in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and a spate of stabbing attacks targeting Israelis.

“These actions are mostly not organized, but they are all the result of wild and untruthful incitement from Hamas, from the Palestinian Authority, from several neighboring counties and, no less, from the Islamic Movement in Israel.”

The unrest has sparked fears that a third Palestinian uprising, or intifada, could erupt.


Israeli Arab lawmakers vow to defy Aqsa ban
Meanwhile, Arab Israeli lawmakers have vowed to defy Netanyahu’s decision to bar parliament members from entering a sensitive Jerusalem holy site, pledging to visit it on Friday.

Netanyahu has issued the order against lawmakers and ministers in a bid to ease tensions after weeks of unrest. Arab lawmakers’ planned visit on Friday, when many Muslims attend weekly prayers there, will test enforcement of the ban.

“Neither Netanyahu nor the right will be able to stop us from entering our Al-Aqsa mosque,” Israeli Arab MP Ahmed Tibi said on Thursday, calling the ban “senseless and illegal.”

Thirteen of Israel’s 120 MPs are Arabs.

The Al-Aqsa compound has seen repeated clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian youths in recent weeks.

Provocative visits by Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel as well as by Israeli Arab lawmakers have added to the volatility.

The Al-Aqsa compound is the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount.

Muslims fear Israel will seek to change rules governing the site, which allow Jews to visit but not pray to avoid provoking tensions. Netanyahu has said repeatedly he is committed to the status quo.

An increase in visits by Jews during a series of Jewish holidays in recent weeks has added to tensions.

The site is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.

(With AFP)

Last Update: Thursday, 8 October 2015 KSA 21:42 - GMT 18:42
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/08/Israeli-politicians-barred-from-visiting-Aqsa-compound.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Palestinian shot by Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem dies

Israeli border policeman fires tear gas towards Palestinian protester during clashes during clashes at a checkpoint between Shuafat refugee camp and occupied Jerusalem. (Reuters)

By AFP | Occupied Jerusalem
Saturday, 10 October 2015

A Palestinian seriously wounded during clashes with Israeli border police in occupied East Jerusalem died of his wounds on Saturday, Israeli police and Palestinian medical sources said.

Police said he was shot after allegedly opening fire at border police late on Friday night, and the Red Crescent said he was killed by a live bullet at the clashes in Shuafat refugee camp.

He was identified by his family as 22-year-old Ahmed Qali.

His death is the latest in ongoing violence between Israelis and Palestinians after seven Palestinians were killed in Gaza and the occupied West Bank on Friday.

Last Update: Saturday, 10 October 2015 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/10/Palestinian-shot-by-Israeli-police-in-occupied-East-Jerusalem-dies.html
 

BLACKEAGLE

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Three Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli forces

Uptick in weeks of violence has raised fears that a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising, might erupt. (Reuters)

By Staff writer, Al Arabiya News
Friday, 16 October 2015

Three Palestinians were killed on Friday during clashes in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, medics reported.

Israeli fire killed one Palestinian during clashes in Beit Furik near Nablus in the occupied West Bank and wounded five others, Palestinian medics said, as protests erupted in various areas.

AFP said Ehab Hanani, 19, was the 37th Palestinian killed since an upsurge in violence began at the start of the month.

Meanwhile, two Palestinian died after being shot by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip, the enclave’s health ministry said, the latest such incidents in more than two weeks of clashes and attacks.

Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP that Abdul Qadir Farhat, 19, died "after he was shot directly in the head by the military in clashes close to the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing" in northern Gaza.

Mahmud Homaida, 22, was confirmed dead later in the day in clashes along the border.

The health ministry reported 98 others wounded, including those shot or exposed to tear gas.

The Gaza clashes occurred during what Palestinians called a “Friday of revolution” against Israel.

Violent protests that first began in annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank have spread to Gaza in recent days.

The series of attacks and violent protests have raised fears of a full-scale Palestinian uprising. The continued violence also have led the U.N. Security Council to hold an emergency meeting.

During the meeting, the Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyadh Mansour urged the Security Council to end Israeli aggression and requested protection for his people.

Mansour also accused Israel of turning the struggle into a “religious conflict.”

“When will this occupation end, when will Palestinians have their own state,” Mansour told the U.N., urging its members for a two-state solution.

Meanwhile, the Israeli U.N. envoy accused the Palestinians to launching “terrorist attacks” and a stabbing wave targeting civilians.

Both the assistant for the Secretary General and Jordan’s envoy said continued violence in Palestinian territories will heighten tension in Mideast.

(With Reuters, AFP)

Last Update: Friday, 16 October 2015 KSA 19:11 - GMT 16:11
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/16/U-N-to-hold-emergency-meeting-on-Jerusalem-unrest.html
 

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Group: Israeli forces detain 876 Palestinians in October

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces have detained at least 876 Palestinians during the month of October, prisoner rights group Addameer told Ma'an on Thursday.

Addameer said the 876 new detainees has brought the total number of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel to around 6,200 people.

Over 500 Palestinians were detained in the occupied West bank, 213 in East Jerusalem, and 152 in Israel. Over 130 of the detainees were children, Addameer said.

The latest upsurge in detentions comes as part of Israel's crackdown on the Palestinian population, under the pretext of restoring calm in the amid an increase in violence since Oct. 1.

Overnight on Wednesday alone, Israeli forces detained 84 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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Israel Shuts Down Palestinian Radio Station it Says Incites | NBC Bay Area

The Israeli military says it raided a Palestinian radio station and confiscated equipment used to broadcast calls to attack Israelis.

The military says it shut down the Al Hurria radio station in Hebron overnight Tuesday. It says the station had been inciting violence in the volatile West Bank city.

Israel says the current spate of violence has been set off by a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement surrounding a sensitive Jerusalem holy site. The Palestinians counter it is a result of frustration from nearly a half-century of occupation.

Eleven Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings. Sixty-nine Palestinians have died by Israeli fire, including 43 who Israel says were involved in attacks or attempted attacks.

The military says Al Hurria has encouraged stabbings and glorified the attackers.
 

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Egyptian army shoots, kills Palestinian fisherman off Gaza coast

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian military forces shot and killed a Palestinian fisherman off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday afternoon, the Ministry of Health in the besieged enclave said.

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson of the ministry, said Firas Mohammad Miqdad, 18, from Rafah was shot in the abdomen by Egyptian forces while at sea and died from his injuries.

It is unclear why Egyptian forces opened fire.

In May, Egyptian naval forces opened fire at a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip, injuring a fisherman from Rafah.

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Everyone that supported Sisi regime will suffer much worse fate.

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Hebron residents live in fear as killings, closures mark daily life

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israel’s response to an upsurge in violence since the beginning of October has seen unprecedented closures of Hebron’s Old City, with residents living in a constant state of fear amid killings by the Israeli army and attacks from Jewish settlers.

Hebron, the largest city in the occupied West Bank, has borne the brunt of violence in recent weeks, with at least one third of the more than 70 Palestinians killed by Israel’s army residents of the district, nine of whom were shot dead in the Old City over the past week.

The city is no stranger to restrictions and violence, with over 800 Jewish settlers protected by more than double that amount of Israeli soldiers all intermingled among 30,000Palestinian residents.


Nearly all of the killings since Oct. 26 have taken place at one of the 18 military checkpoints dotting the Old City, strategicallypositionedto protect Jewish settlers who have taken over the heart of Hebron.


"Life has stopped in the Old City,” Issa Amro, a human rights activist with Youth Against Settlements, told Ma’an.


“In Hebron, checkpoints are located outside people’s homes so no-one visits each other anymore. Everyone is afraid that their sons and daughters will be shot dead.”

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Poll of British Jews finds widespread unease with Israel's policies | World news | The Guardian

More than two-thirds of British Jews have a “sense of despair” every time an expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is approved, and three-quarters think that Israel’s approach to making peace with the Palestinians is damaging its standing in the world, according to a new poll.

It found 90% support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, but the poll also found mass discomfort with the policies of the Israeli government. More than half (58%) said Israel “will be seen as an apartheid state if it tries to retain control over borders that contain more Arabs than Jews” – in effect, if it continues its 47-year occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The poll is the first major survey of the attitudes of British Jews to Israel since 2010. It was commissioned by Yachad, a pro-peace organisation based in the UK, and carried out by Ipsos Mori, with independent analysis led by City University.

The findings will bolster British advocates of a peace deal with the Palestinians. Although the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, routinely proclaims his willingness to negotiate a two-state solution to the conflict, there has been no progress towards peace since he took office in 2009.

The key findings of the poll include:

  • 75% of British Jews agree that “the expansion of settlements on the West Bank is a major obstacle to peace”, and 68% have a “sense of despair” whenever new expansion is approved.
  • 73% believe Israel’s approach to peace is damaging its standing in the world.
  • 71% see the two-state solution as the only way Israel can achieve peace.
  • 72% reject the statement that “the Palestinians have no legitimate claim to a land of their own”.
  • 62% support ceding territory to achieve peace, but that falls to 50% if withdrawal is seen as posing a risk to Israel’s security.
  • 47% see the Israeli government as “constantly creating obstacles to avoid engaging in the peace process” (32% disagreed).
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Undercover Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian in Hebron hospital

HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Undercover Israeli forces on Thursday shot dead a Palestinian during a hospital raid in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, witnesses and hospital staff said.

Abdullah Azzam Shalaldah, 28, was shot several times by forces who raided the surgery unit of al-Ahli hospital in order to detain his cousin, Azzam Ezzat Shalaldah, 20, who was shot by an Israeli settler last month, hospital staff told Ma’an.

Abdullah and another relative were in the hospital visiting Azzam when around 20 undercover Israeli soldiers entered the hospital at around 4:00 a.m., witnesses said.

The forces tied up the relative while Abdullah, who was in the bathroom at the time, entered the room and was shot dead on scene.

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Nazi monsters, you will be burned and banished to hell very soon
 

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Malaysia remains committed to push for Palestine to gain member state status in UN | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

Malaysia remains committed in its efforts to push for Palestine to gain member state status in United Nations (UN), Dewan Rakyat was told.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said Malaysia, which is a non-permanent member in UN Security Council (UNSC) has been actively pushing the Palestinian agenda each month.

Malaysia has also brought the issue to be discussed through the UNSC open debate held every 3 months.

"We present different views not only to push for Palestine to be recognised as member state but more importantly, to attain peace. However, we understand that efforts to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict have been going on for 7 decades and it is a complicated issue.

"Individually, Malaysia is a small country, but it is also influential in practising moderation in Islam, and whenever there is an event organised or when Malaysia is a co-sponsor, it will receive much attention from the council and UN," he said in reply to a supplementary question by Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (PKR-Tumpat).

Reezal said Palestine had submitted an application to be a UN member state in 2011.

"The UN Committee on the Admission of New Members had during a meeting on Nov 12, 2011, ceased discussion on the matter without reaching a decision. However, UN had on Nov 29, 2012, adopted a resolution to accord non-member observer status to Palestine, which Malaysia was a co-sponsor, along with 67 member states, and had received support from 138 members," he said.
 

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Abbas in Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations despite day of violence

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday arrived to Bethlehem as thousands flocked to the holy city for Christmas celebrations, despite a day of violence in the occupied West Bank.

The president, as well as Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, participated in holiday festivities in Bethlehem’s Old City before attending a midnight mass at the Church of Nativity.

Prior to his visit, Abbas in a statement prided the integral role of Palestinian Christians in creating a “rich and diverse society” for hundreds of years, and praised steps taken among the Christian community internationally in the fight to end Israeli military occupation.

“This year, we witnessed more churches around the world supporting the call for recognition of the State of Palestine, and an increasing number of Christian groups campaigning to divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of our land,” the president said.

Despite sending a message of hope for the "city of peace," Abbas lamented the violence and ongoing violations by the Israeli military that tarnished this year’s Christmas season.

Four Palestinians had been shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in the hours before Abbas arrived to Bethlehem. Three were killed after carrying out separate attacks on Israeli military, injuring three, while another Palestinian was killed during clashes.

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After 2,000 years, Christians disappearing from Gaza
POSTED BY EDITOR ON DECEMBER 24, 2015 IN NEWS & ANALYSIS, SOCIETY & RELIGION, ACTIVISIM & BDS, PALESTINE/ISRAEL | | 5 RESPONSES
An Orthodox Christian Archbishop heads the celebration of Christmas at St. Porphyrius Greek Orthodox church in Gaza on Jan. 7, 2015.(Photo: Ahmed Hjazy, Pacific Press/LightRocket, via Getty Images)
“Palestinian Christians … receive no tolerance or mercy from the Israeli occupation. Their land has been confiscated, their houses have been destroyed, and they have been subjected to daily humiliation on checkpoints when they travel,” he said. “Same discriminatory measures for everyone. Christians and Muslims.”


GAZA CITY — Dim lighting and candles softly illuminate decorative tapestries as the smell of incense fills the air and the harmonic sound of hundreds singing in unison drifts onto a busy street next to an overflowing church on a wet and windy Sunday morning.

Despite the packed pews at Gaza’s Church of St. Porphyrius just weeks before Christmas, Christianity is not booming here. Rather, the worshipers at the 1,600-year-old shrine believe they may be the last group of Christians in Gaza, where they have lived and prayed since the birth of Jesus.

The ongoing Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and the highest unemployment rate in the world are prompting Christians to leave the besieged area in droves, some using the holiday season to their advantage.

Although Israel rarely grants permits to leave the Palestinian territory, dozens of Christians are allowed to visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem during Easter and Christmas, and some take the opportunity to never return home so they can start a new life elsewhere.

Today, the population that once spanned 3,000 Christians in Gaza just a few years ago has been reduced to 1,200, and worshipers say the area could be entirely devoid of the religious denomination within two decades.

“People might think we’re leaving because of Hamas, but no it’s because of … (Israeli) policies on Gaza,” Jaber Jilder, an official with the Greek Orthodox Church said, referring to the militant group that governs Gaza and is labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and others.

Israeli sanctions on Gaza have made freedom of movement and goods almost non-existent, and have contributed to an economy that the World Bank said is on the “verge of collapse.” A United Nations report this year said the 2014 Israeli-Hamas war and the current blockade will make the Palestinian territory “unlivable” by 2020.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frequently defended the blockade, saying it stops weapons from being smuggled into Gaza and to Hamas.

“Most of our community have no opportunities. There are no jobs, especially after university,” Jilder said. “I hear this Christmas about 50 people will leave Gaza … but they won’t return.”

“As soon as there is a way for me to leave I will go, and I want to send my sons outside if they get the chance,” he added.

There is a palpable sadness when conversation drifts to the future of Christianity in Gaza, and there’s anger, too. A community that has survived two centuries through times of war and natural disasters now feels like it is on its last legs.

“We don’t want to leave, but we are forced to because of the economic and political situation here,” said Luzil Asaree, a worshipersitting in the courtyard of the church after the service. “It’s sad, Christians have been here since the beginning of our religion.”

The Christian population in the West Bank has also been on the decline for similar reasons, said George Abueed, a Palestinian-Christian from Bethlehem.

“Palestinian Christians … receive no tolerance or mercy from the Israeli occupation. Their land has been confiscated, their houses have been destroyed, and they have been subjected to daily \ing hope for better days, according to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency.

Murad’s soulful voice comforts listeners with the classic anti-war tune as dichotomous footage from the Israeli occupation, Syrian refugees, police brutality in USA, religious extremism in France, Lebanon, Somalia, Kenya, and Nigeria, and much more, rolls in time.

The song was recorded and produced by Sabreen Association for Artistic Development in Jerusalem, the video filmed at the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem and Shu’fat refugee camp.

............
 

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After 2,000 years, Christians disappearing from Gaza
POSTED BY EDITOR ON DECEMBER 24, 2015 IN NEWS & ANALYSIS, SOCIETY & RELIGION, ACTIVISIM & BDS, PALESTINE/ISRAEL | | 5 RESPONSES
An Orthodox Christian Archbishop heads the celebration of Christmas at St. Porphyrius Greek Orthodox church in Gaza on Jan. 7, 2015.(Photo: Ahmed Hjazy, Pacific Press/LightRocket, via Getty Images)
“Palestinian Christians … receive no tolerance or mercy from the Israeli occupation. Their land has been confiscated, their houses have been destroyed, and they have been subjected to daily humiliation on checkpoints when they travel,” he said. “Same discriminatory measures for everyone. Christians and Muslims.”


GAZA CITY — Dim lighting and candles softly illuminate decorative tapestries as the smell of incense fills the air and the harmonic sound of hundreds singing in unison drifts onto a busy street next to an overflowing church on a wet and windy Sunday morning.

Despite the packed pews at Gaza’s Church of St. Porphyrius just weeks before Christmas, Christianity is not booming here. Rather, the worshipers at the 1,600-year-old shrine believe they may be the last group of Christians in Gaza, where they have lived and prayed since the birth of Jesus.

The ongoing Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and the highest unemployment rate in the world are prompting Christians to leave the besieged area in droves, some using the holiday season to their advantage.

Although Israel rarely grants permits to leave the Palestinian territory, dozens of Christians are allowed to visit Bethlehem and Jerusalem during Easter and Christmas, and some take the opportunity to never return home so they can start a new life elsewhere.

Today, the population that once spanned 3,000 Christians in Gaza just a few years ago has been reduced to 1,200, and worshipers say the area could be entirely devoid of the religious denomination within two decades.

“People might think we’re leaving because of Hamas, but no it’s because of … (Israeli) policies on Gaza,” Jaber Jilder, an official with the Greek Orthodox Church said, referring to the militant group that governs Gaza and is labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and others.

Israeli sanctions on Gaza have made freedom of movement and goods almost non-existent, and have contributed to an economy that the World Bank said is on the “verge of collapse.” A United Nations report this year said the 2014 Israeli-Hamas war and the current blockade will make the Palestinian territory “unlivable” by 2020.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has frequently defended the blockade, saying it stops weapons from being smuggled into Gaza and to Hamas.

“Most of our community have no opportunities. There are no jobs, especially after university,” Jilder said. “I hear this Christmas about 50 people will leave Gaza … but they won’t return.”

“As soon as there is a way for me to leave I will go, and I want to send my sons outside if they get the chance,” he added.

There is a palpable sadness when conversation drifts to the future of Christianity in Gaza, and there’s anger, too. A community that has survived two centuries through times of war and natural disasters now feels like it is on its last legs.

“We don’t want to leave, but we are forced to because of the economic and political situation here,” said Luzil Asaree, a worshipersitting in the courtyard of the church after the service. “It’s sad, Christians have been here since the beginning of our religion.”

The Christian population in the West Bank has also been on the decline for similar reasons, said George Abueed, a Palestinian-Christian from Bethlehem.

“Palestinian Christians … receive no tolerance or mercy from the Israeli occupation. Their land has been confiscated, their houses have been destroyed, and they have been subjected to daily \ing hope for better days, according to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency.

Murad’s soulful voice comforts listeners with the classic anti-war tune as dichotomous footage from the Israeli occupation, Syrian refugees, police brutality in USA, religious extremism in France, Lebanon, Somalia, Kenya, and Nigeria, and much more, rolls in time.

The song was recorded and produced by Sabreen Association for Artistic Development in Jerusalem, the video filmed at the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem and Shu’fat refugee camp.

............
According to Judaism and Christianity the christ was put on the cross by the jews so what would you expect from those people to kill the master and leave the disciples!
 

Falcon29

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According to Judaism and Christianity the christ was put on the cross by the jews so what would you expect from those people to kill the master and leave the disciples!
And while that they try convincing Westerners that Palestinian Muslims persecute Palestinian Christians. You know what's funny is we Palestinians say no thank you. We never differentiate ourselves, Palestinians are Palestinians irregardless of faith. It's the Israeli's and some evangelical Americans who claim otherwise. They try to claim Palestinian Muslims in Gaza kicked the Christians out. Which is just false in every way. Palestinian Christians were expelled to West Bank during 48-67-present so Israel wouldn't upset the West which supported it. So Gaza was always mostly Muslim. And the article above shows that all the youth want to leave because the terrible situation. It's fascinating, Western Christians are not familiar with Arab Christians and think they are pro-Israel and what not. This is not the case, Arab Christians don't like Jews for religious reasons but also for what they've done in the ME.

They also of course don't like terrorist groups like ISIS. ISIS is a weird group that's making weirding statements today. They said they will rise in Saudi Arabia and 'show up' in Palestine soon. The leaders of this group clearly are foreign agents, they want to destabilize Saudi Arabia. Second they want to go into Palestine and target Christians so the Jews can blame Palestinians and so we can lose sympathy from all around the world. I am convinced these leaders work for the CIA/Mossad. Don't be surprised if Palestinian security forces catch Israeli government agents/undercover troops planting bombs around Christian areas. They want to create divide among us and make it a Muslim vs all issue. They won't succeed as we aren't naive people to fall for their plans. They have tried this many times before.
 

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Why is the U.S. subsidizing Israeli settlements?
An office chair is positioned on the top of Dagan Hill, on the outskirts of Efrat, a thriving West Bank settlement. Someone must like to sit here and take in the changing landscape. Once-bare mountains are losing their shape, carved up by new roads and villas for a growing population of Jewish settlers.

Nadia Matar, one pillar of this community, should be happy. Twenty years ago, as she struggled to make a life on this hill, the success of her mission seemed improbable, if not impossible. Now, from the top of the windy peak, the fruits of her victory are apparent. Yet Matar, founder and leader of the pro-settlement nonprofit Women in Green, doesn’t sound cheerful when I call to ask about the funding of her organization. “Choose which side are you on,” she tells me in Hebrew, “ours, or the enemies who try to destroy us.”

Many from Israel’s far right and the settlers’ community condemn the Obama administration as that “other” side. They should know better: While one American hand opposes development of settlements, the other keeps feeding it.

A few miles away from Efrat sits the pleasant campground of Oz Vegaon, a West Bank outpost built without the required land allocation and planning permits from the Israeli Civil Administration. Campers, tourists and right-wing groups gather here to enjoy the newly constructed facilities. Women in Green helped to build Oz Vegaon last year, naming it after three Jewish teens murdered by Palestinians not too far from there. Some of the money it used on the site traveled some 5,700 miles from the center of Manhattan. Matar’s group is one of many settler organizations fueled with tax-exempt American dollars, of which increasing amounts arrive each year.

This year I conducted a thorough investigation into the complex network of tax-exempt donations helping to finance West Bank settlements. The investigation, published this month in Haaretz, looked at almost 50 nonprofit organizations that raise money in the United States for the settlements.

The findings are striking: Within five years, from 2009 to 2013, more than $220 million was sent across the ocean and into schools, synagogues and playgrounds dotting the hills of Judea and Samaria. Millions of tax-subsidized dollars have gone to Jewish settlements in Hebron, helping to sustain a grim reality in the segregated part of the city, where Palestinian movement is sharply restricted and their economic life has been suffocated.

Donations from the United States also were used to support families of Jews convicted in ideologically motivated violence against Palestinians. The spouse of Ami Popper, convicted of murdering seven Palestinians in 1990, received financial help from Honenu, an Israeli nonprofit that drew 20 percent of its income last year from U.S. donations.

The American donors to these groups are entitled to tax breaks on the money they give, and so this flow of funds means U.S. taxpayers are indirectly supporting a policy of settlement expansion opposed by the current administration and every other administration — Democratic and Republican — since Richard Nixon. In 2013, the organizations raised $73 million and doled out $54 million in grants. Initial data from 2014 suggest totals even higher.

In his 2009 speech to the United Nations, President Obama stated a clear view on Israeli presence in the West Bank. “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” he said.

When I recently asked a senior White House official about this apparent contradiction, he told me: “This administration never defended or supported any activity associated with the settlements. It doesn’t support or advance any activity that will legitimize them.”

Plaques honoring American donors on buildings or promenades they helped to erect in the settlements suggest otherwise. If Obama means it when he warns Israel about the consequences of its settlement policy, he should explain why his country keeps subsidizing it.


Why is the U.S. subsidizing Israeli settlements? - The Washington Post
 

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Why is the U.S. subsidizing Israeli settlements?
An office chair is positioned on the top of Dagan Hill, on the outskirts of Efrat, a thriving West Bank settlement. Someone must like to sit here and take in the changing landscape. Once-bare mountains are losing their shape, carved up by new roads and villas for a growing population of Jewish settlers.

Nadia Matar, one pillar of this community, should be happy. Twenty years ago, as she struggled to make a life on this hill, the success of her mission seemed improbable, if not impossible. Now, from the top of the windy peak, the fruits of her victory are apparent. Yet Matar, founder and leader of the pro-settlement nonprofit Women in Green, doesn’t sound cheerful when I call to ask about the funding of her organization. “Choose which side are you on,” she tells me in Hebrew, “ours, or the enemies who try to destroy us.”

Many from Israel’s far right and the settlers’ community condemn the Obama administration as that “other” side. They should know better: While one American hand opposes development of settlements, the other keeps feeding it.

A few miles away from Efrat sits the pleasant campground of Oz Vegaon, a West Bank outpost built without the required land allocation and planning permits from the Israeli Civil Administration. Campers, tourists and right-wing groups gather here to enjoy the newly constructed facilities. Women in Green helped to build Oz Vegaon last year, naming it after three Jewish teens murdered by Palestinians not too far from there. Some of the money it used on the site traveled some 5,700 miles from the center of Manhattan. Matar’s group is one of many settler organizations fueled with tax-exempt American dollars, of which increasing amounts arrive each year.

This year I conducted a thorough investigation into the complex network of tax-exempt donations helping to finance West Bank settlements. The investigation, published this month in Haaretz, looked at almost 50 nonprofit organizations that raise money in the United States for the settlements.

The findings are striking: Within five years, from 2009 to 2013, more than $220 million was sent across the ocean and into schools, synagogues and playgrounds dotting the hills of Judea and Samaria. Millions of tax-subsidized dollars have gone to Jewish settlements in Hebron, helping to sustain a grim reality in the segregated part of the city, where Palestinian movement is sharply restricted and their economic life has been suffocated.

Donations from the United States also were used to support families of Jews convicted in ideologically motivated violence against Palestinians. The spouse of Ami Popper, convicted of murdering seven Palestinians in 1990, received financial help from Honenu, an Israeli nonprofit that drew 20 percent of its income last year from U.S. donations.

The American donors to these groups are entitled to tax breaks on the money they give, and so this flow of funds means U.S. taxpayers are indirectly supporting a policy of settlement expansion opposed by the current administration and every other administration — Democratic and Republican — since Richard Nixon. In 2013, the organizations raised $73 million and doled out $54 million in grants. Initial data from 2014 suggest totals even higher.

In his 2009 speech to the United Nations, President Obama stated a clear view on Israeli presence in the West Bank. “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements,” he said.

When I recently asked a senior White House official about this apparent contradiction, he told me: “This administration never defended or supported any activity associated with the settlements. It doesn’t support or advance any activity that will legitimize them.”

Plaques honoring American donors on buildings or promenades they helped to erect in the settlements suggest otherwise. If Obama means it when he warns Israel about the consequences of its settlement policy, he should explain why his country keeps subsidizing it.


Why is the U.S. subsidizing Israeli settlements? - The Washington Post
How dare you questioning the dove of peace... human rights and democracy promoter.
 

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